How to Use AutoFill in Excel
Your spreadsheet from the previous section should look like this one:
You have a title in cell A1, but nothing else. You’ll now see how to use the AutoFill feature of Excell to quickly enter the days of the week. Off we go, then.
Click inside cell B3 of your spreadsheet, and type Monday, as in the image below:
The days of the week are going to be entered on Row 3 of our spreadsheet, from cell B3 to cell H3. Fortunately, you don’t have to type them all out. You can use something called AutoFill to complete a known sequence like days of the week. In other words, Excel will do it all for us.
- Position your mouse pointer to the bottom right of the B3 cell
- The mouse pointer will change to a black cross, as in the images below. The image on the left shows the normal white cross; the image on the right, the black cross, tells you AutoFill is available:
- When you can see the AutoFill cursor, hold down your left mouse button and drag to the right
- Drag your mouse all the way to cell H3, as in the following image:
- When your cursor is in the H3 cell, let go of the left mouse button
- Excel will now complete the days of the week:
And that’s all there is too it! AutoFill can be a handy tool to use, when you want to complete a known sequence like days of the week, months, and even formulas. We’ll use AutoFill on a column of numbers, shortly. But let’s crack on with our spreadsheet
Now that we’ve got a heading for the spreadsheet, as well as the days of the week, we can enter a few chocolate bars.
- Click inside cell A4 and enter the name of a chocolate bar. You can enter anything you like, but we’ve gone for Mars Bars. In cell A5 we chose Twix, and in cell A6 Bounty. In cell A7 we typed Other
- In cell A9 of you spreadsheet enter the words Day Totals. Leave cell A8 blank. Your spreadsheet should then look something like ours below:
Time to enter some numbers.
- Click inside cell B4, and enter the number 1. Press the enter key on your keyboard, and the active cell will jump down to cell B5
- In cell B5 type the number 7. Press the Enter key again to jump down to cell B6
- In cell B6 type 8
- In cell B7 type 1
- Your spreadsheet will then look like this one:
To complete the numbers for the rest of the week, enter the following under each heading:
Tuesday: 2, 5, 3, 2
Wednesday: 1, 3, 2, 2
Thursday: 3, 2, 3, 2
Friday: 3, 4, 4, 2
Saturday: 2, 2, 1, 1
Sunday: 5, 4, 4, 1
When you’re done, your spreadsheet will look like this:
Now that you have all those numbers typed out, we can move on to formulas, as you learn how to add up in Excel.